Google local search is shrinking
18 August, 2015 | SEO
You may have already noticed the rather significant change to Googles search engine results where they have reduced the 7 local business listings down to just 3.
The map has been moved from the top right of the Google search results to the left hand side (displayed directly over the local results), which is displayed exactly the same on mobile devices.
Google has also removed your business phone number from the local listings; instead they have replaced it with just a link to the website or to get direction. This will mean to find your contact details the user will either have to visit your Google Plus page or your website so ensure your contact details are easily found on both of them. As for mobile, it only has the click to call button on the search results page.
And the final big change is that they have reduced the number of local business listing from 7 to 3, which for many estate agents may mean they have lost their page one Google rankings.
How this may affect you?
As stated above, the main impact it could have had on your business is the loss in page one rankings. If your business wasn’t displayed there before then obviously this change will have no impact on you at all but if you were ranking position 4-7 for the local results, you will no longer be displayed.
With fewer local business listings being displayed, those of you who are on the new local business listings (position 1-3), are likely to see a positive impact due to having less competition, with the potential of you getting around 2.5 times more calls than before.
What does Google have to say about this change?
With regards to this Google search engine results change, a Google spokesperson has said:
“We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users. This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews and prices, for searches that have multiple results for a given location.”
It is unclear at this point whether or not this change is only being test or if it is set in place for the long run but only time will tell.